Si bleu qu'est notre temps | As Blue As Our Time
The forest has never been as popular a subject it is now. A sought-after refuge of air-starved city-dwellers, it is the focus of reports lauding its existence around the world or celebrating the essence of its trees1. This resource, caught in a cycle of exploitation and protection, now warrants being talked about in a different way. In fact, Non-Westerners who call these forests home believe that they have the capacity to think.2
In Andréanne Godin's childhood memories, the forest becomes a psychic space that her artistic practice frequently revisits. This exhibition is the ultimate expression of this, one that is offered up for the sharing. Created specially to occupy two rooms at AXENÉO7, the installation invites visitors to a night stroll through a composite forest made of fragments gleaned by the artist-in-residence in Vermont and Finland, and in her native Abitibi. Both life and death lurk in this invented landscape whose concrete experience fades into a continuum of impressions suggested by the Prussian blue and Van Dyke brown pigments of majestic drawings. While the chromatic nuances are subtly enhanced by lighting, each step reflects an existential quest with (in)discernible landmarks.
— Marie-Ève Charron, curator
1. "Essences d'arbre" and "Forêts intérieures" are a series of features highlighting forests published by the Le Devoir Montreal's newspaper in summer 2020.
2. Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think. Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2013.
As a child, Andréanne Godin (1984) used to roam the trails of the Boreal forest at the end of her street. Originally from Val-d’Or (QC), she currently lives and works in Montreal. In 2013, she completed a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Concordia University and was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists, nominated by curator Nicole Gingras. Godin recently took part in several residency programs in Canada and abroad. She was artist-in-residence of the Quebec studios in both Finland (2019) and in Switzerland (2017) and was the first Quebec artist to be hosted by the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut (2016). Both federal and provincial arts councils have supported her research since 2012. Over the past decade, Godin’s work has been presented nationally and internationally in Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, the United States, Cuba, and France. The artist is represented by Galerie Nicolas Robert.
Marie-Ève Charron is an art critic for Le Devoir and an independent curator. In 2018, she and her twin sister Isabelle curated the 6th edition of ORANGE, Contemporary Art Event of Saint-Hyacinthe. In 2019, she published the collective works Archi-féministes! (Optica, with Marie-Josée Lafortune and Thérèse St-Gelais) and Le désordre des choses. L’art et l’épreuve du politique (Les éditions Esse, with Thérèse St-Gelais), as well as a monograph on the work of Kim Waldron (Galerie Thomas Henry Ross art contemporain). These publications followed exhibitions that she also curated. Marie-Ève teaches art history at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe and as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Art History at Université du Québec à Montréal.
The artist wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for their financial support, as well as the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), the Finnish Artists' Studio Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center, without whom she would not have been able to find the time and space to pursue this project, which took more than two years to complete.
She is grateful to Marie-Ève Charron for all the talks and guidance during the creation process that helped her bring the project to fruition, to Mitch Mitchell for his moral and technical support with the hanging systems and to Ghislain Brodeur for his lighting design and production assistance.